Volvo Eicher Commercial Vehicles (VECV) offers some strong aftermarket support to its customers including digitised and technical solutions. Moreover, the company has also set up an Uptime centre that works seamlessly in order to remotely detect the faults in the trucks running anywhere in India and provide them the required support. Moreover, for the first time, the company has introduced 8 years driveline warranty for Haulage and 15,000 hours for tippers for the BS6 vehicles. Not only this, but VECV recently became the first company to offer 100 percent connected trucks in the commercial vehicle industry in India. In order to understand what all aftermarket initiatives VECV currently offers and how digitisation can help fleet operators save big in terms of cost, we at Express Drives recently had an interaction with Vinod Aggarwal, MD & CEO, VECV.
Aggarwal says that out of the two fundamental things, first is the product that includes its policies, reliability, and performance. Second is the aftersales because these trucks are industrial and business assets. Therefore, both the product and after-sale service must be best in class. He adds that since the company has a collaboration with Volvo, VECV is a Volvo group company and as far as the products are concerned, the group has adopted a lot of Volvo group technology. VECV says that its vision is modernising the commercial vehicles industry in India.
Vinod Aggarwal says that if you look at the trucks on the Indian roads, the technology used in them is quite poor. 80% of the trucks are sold without cabin and body and these cabin and bodies are built on the roadside. He says that one might also ask why multinationals have not done it like in two-wheeler or car but why not trucks. The reason is the price which is a very big barrier. Since the trucks are business assets and not status assets, people do not bother about the technology or how it looks or what is the comfort for the drivers and they do not take care of the drivers.
The owner’s mentality is that the trucks must deliver on time. If you look at the logistics cost as the percentage of the GDP, it is 10-13% as compared to developed markets where it is 5-6%. Aggarwal says that presently, all these multinationals have world-class technology and Indian customer is not ready to pay the price. One might not has seen much of the international companies that have come here and these have not been successful that is why VECV is investing in compliances especially heavy-duty trucks which are the main truck market and they continue to be ruled by strong duopoly. Aggarwal adds that when they collaborated with the Volvo group in 2008, the company’s objective was to modernise the trucking industry in India and round the world. So, a lot of Volvo group technology has been incorporated in VECV’s Indian R&D centre and at Indian cost. Hence even though they have been modernised, but they can compete at the same price levels and continue to give the technology and that is the secret of VECV’s high profit in the past.
The company continues to provide trucks with factory-built bodies and now has its our own inhouse plant so that it can provide buses to the customers which are built in VECV’s own factory and not on the roadside. VECV believes that the products must be of superior quality and provide best in class fuel efficiency and hence, the VECV trucks are known as ‘Mileage ka Badshah’. So, Mileage ka Badshah comes from better productivity better driver comfort if you provide comfortable cabins. For e.g. if you are comfortable you can drive more in a day and in normal trucks you can drive 300km in our trucks you can drive 400-500km or if you have given cruise control feature like in cars that people can put on when the roads are smooth and highway then you don’t have to even put on the clutch or the accelerator.
According to VECV, the fuel accounts for 40-60% of the total cost of ownership of a truck so anything that you save on fuel help you to save money. Also, the company says that if you give a good product which offers best fuel efficiency and best in comfort and other features, the company must ensure that it stays for a maximum period. VECV says that it has taken a lot of steps in the last few years because one can leverage a lot of electronics and the brand also has the access to a telematics system which is Volvo verified.
Now, here comes the most important part. VECV has set up first of its kind uptime centre, where any truck either from workshop or on the road can be taken control of by the uptime centre through a digital tool and then it can provide real time guidance to the technicians if he gets struck anywhere either on the road or on the workshop.
Since BS6 is very new and complex technology and calls for building up the competency of the technicians preparing the infrastructure, they know the technology and help the customer. Therefore, it is very important to develop the right competency of our people and aftersales people also of the dealership people and dealer’s technicians who work in the workshop. That is the second area if you must give the best aftersales service to your customers.
Watch our Eicher Pro 3015 truck video review:
VECV says that it has also done a lot of digitalisation that helps in creating the right understanding at all levels like what the sort of response the company is giving to its customers, how much time a truck takes when it enters the workshop and then exits the workshop. VECV has divided its entire workshop into 7 or 8 sessions at each session and there is a display box because everything is now digital. The moment the truck enters the workshop, the entire details are saved in the smartphone or in the laptop. After that, there are seven sessions like first is the advisor in the workshop to understand from the driver what is the problem then he will listen to him and put down the details of what is to be done, that then again gets locked in at the digital platform.
Then the staff checks the problem that happened while providing the servicing of the vehicle and in the meanwhile, the technician takes care of the problem through the digital tool. All these locations are very clearly mentioned on VECV’s digital platform. With over 300 workshops across the country, in the first phase, the diagnostics services are provided and in the second stage, the company provides the predicted maintenance. The second phase is based on the telematics system with the help of which, the staff at VECV is able to understand the behaviour of the truck. This system is an advance technology that captures various types of behaviour in the vehicle like its routine, tempering of the fuel, how long has the engine been kept on without moving , etc.
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